The Phantom Creeps is everything an old classic B sci-fi is supposed to be. It features Bela Lugosi (as Dr. Zorka), a mad megalomaniac genius with a utility belt and a sack of gadgets that would make Batman and James Bond blush, against a team of CIA-types, a reporter, and local law enforcement. Lugosi hams up a storm and really seems to enjoy himself in this immensely silly role. His somewhat untrustworthy and dull side-kick, played by Jack Smith is a great foil to his overbearing stage presence, and he makes a truly great sadist!
October 21, 2017 Subject:
lesson to mad scientists...
a) keep your secret energy source locked up so it can't be tracked by radiation detectors
b) don't hire prison escapees
c) don't leave people alone with your gadgets or your secret energy source.
d) don't leave stuff around that can be reverse engineered
e) if you have to go into hiding... stay there
i would say 5 stars for Bela Lugosi, but ZERO for the convoluted plot, and 3 stars for the rest of the cast. the robot was cool, looked like a mechanical genie.
the gag with the box causing an EMP was way before it's time since EMP effects from nuclear weapons weren't discovered for another few decades
May 4, 2010 Subject:
I Wanted Zorka to Win
Viewing the film with today's sensibility, I was not at all convinced that turning Zorka's "simulated death" technology over to the US government would be the best solution to the problem, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief on the matter.
The actual reason I wanted to see Zorka triumph was that he was passionate and innovative with numerous amazing inventions, while the "good guys" comprised two dim-witted G-men (Captain West and Lieutenant Daley) and a stodgy, moralistic scientist (Dr. Mallory). While watching most cliffhanger serials of this type, the heroes are usually dynamic enough to match the villain, but not in this case.
I would have enjoyed this story much more if Mallory, West, and Daley had been paralyzed with death-disks and Zorka had succeeded in taking over the world.
December 2, 2009 Subject:
I like this movie. It has plenty of comic book style hokum with a meteorite, unbelievable airplane crash survivability, lightning bolts, invisibility and a marvelous robot. C-3PO would be aghast.
April 27, 2009 Subject:
This is the 1949 TV movie made from the 1939 serial, which I watched some years ago when IA hosted it. Guess it wasn't copyright-free. The robot is unforgettable.
It's pretty bad. 'Continuity' wasn't an issue for them. No surprise, there is some terrible acting and some dumb dialog.
I downloaded the "DivX" file, which is actually an AVI. Video and audio are Ok.